Amazon adds tone to Kindle to improve reading over the day

You know how your phone can change the colour of white as the day becomes night to help your eyes adjust? Well now the flagship Kindle can, too.

It’s no secret that light changes as the day wears on, but that also affects your eyes. As the lights dim, the harsh bright white of a regular screen can seem like an attack on your eyes, and not all that easy to adjust to.

This isn’t a problem books have really had to adjust to, mind you, because books are passive. In the darkness, you have to light a book up using a small light, and if you’ve used say a warmer colour of light, it might have been easier with the printed page.

Digital screens with white LED lighting aren’t as lucky, and so they need a slightly different solution.

On a phone or tablet, these days you might get something like Apple’s TrueTone technology, which shifts the white balance to something a little warmer based on the colour of the room.

As the day becomes night, you might opt for the iPhone’s “Night Shift” or Android’s “Night Mode”, both of which gradually warm the screen as you get further into the night, helping your eyes adjust and still read the screen with less strain.

That’s a technology that has been added over time, and it’s one eReaders are going to benefit from, as well.

This week, Amazon has announced an addition to its Kindle range, releasing the new version of the Kindle Oasis, its flagship Kindle.

Similar to the last model, it’s still very thin with a spine to hold the Oasis on either side, though it now has an updated version of the electronic ink (eInk) screen with capacitive touch technology to help it know the difference between an intentional swipe to a next page and an accidental swipe.

If you opt to avoid swiping, there are buttons to help you turn page, because that touchscreen may not work in water, and since the Kindle Oasis is water-resistance at IPX8, you might take it in the bath or pool.

However the big new feature in the 2019 Kindle Oasis is a new type of front light that includes a colour-adjustable front-light. In the new Kindle, “colour-adjustable” means that while the screen stays the same black and white of electronic ink’s paper-like look, the tone ranges from a cooler white to be used in the daytime to a warmer orange to be used at night.

Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019)

The 7 inch screen of the 2019 Kindle Oasis can have its tone controlled manually, or it can be triggered using automatic daylight, dawn, and dusk times.

What it won’t do is change the tone of the screen like Apple’s TrueTone technology on the iPad Pro. This isn’t made with that in mind, and is more about changing the front-light to improve reading under lighting conditions where the Paperwhite front-light is needed.

“The all-new Kindle Oasis includes everything customers loved from the previous generation, including the large 7-inch display and waterproofing – and now we’re making it even better,” said Kevin Keith, Vice President of Amazon Devices.

“We’re adding a colour adjustable front light so customers can read with a warmer tone that’s customisable to their preference to easily transition from daytime to night-time reading,” he said.

The colour-adjustable 2019 Kindle Oasis will make its way into stores such as JB HiFi and Officeworks from July 24, as well as the Amazon website, with an 8GB WiFi model available for $399, a 32GB WiFi model for $449, and a 32GB WiFi/4G model with free 4G data (for buying books and low-level web browsing) for $559.

The older Kindle Oasis appears to have been retired with this one, so you won’t see that model henceforth, though the other Kindle models, the standard Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite, are still around, too.